Photo Courtesy of SXSW Wellness Expo - by Nicky Lockman.
Photo Courtesy of SXSW Wellness Expo - by Nicky Lockman.

4 Wellness Trends From the SXSW Wellness Expo You Need to Know About

5 min read

The first-ever SXSW Wellness Expo in March 2018 turned out true health advocates and highlighted the hottest trends in wellness this year. As a speaker, I got the inside scoop on a few up and coming industry trends while I browsed more than 90 exhibitors. From established brands such as Bulletproof, Headspace and FabFitFun, to brand new offerings including mushroom jerky, pom pom workouts and superfood keto coffees, there were four trends that stood out. Get ready for wellness 2018, because these are the ones you need to know about.


The sheer number of products at the Expo showed that CBD is the wellness trend of 2018, with everything from tinctures, oils, vaping and food products featuring cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis sativa

CBD is the new darling of the wellness food due to its number of benefits, with no reported side effects. It’s now being used to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce pain and inflammation, as an anti-cancer supplement, and to relieve the symptoms of neurological disorders. 

I had wanted to try CDB for a while, but like all of the supplements and health products, I wanted to find the cleanest source backed by research and case studies. After talking to all of the CDB brands there (and there were a lot) I decided on Rawsome, a Texas-based manufacturer using all organic ingredients with small batch, hand-crafted products. 

I tried their Essential Strength CBD Oil, and after a dose, I did feel more relaxed. As I am in good health, CBD isn’t a product I would use on a daily basis. But now that I have it on hand, I’ll use it when I feel stressed and anxious and want to relax quickly and naturally (without a glass of wine). 


I led a session on holistic sleep tips, so I was excited to see the new developments in sleep health. It seems that sleep is now understood as such a valuable part of our holistic health, and that the “sleep when you are dead” mentality is finally being kicked to the curb.  

The first product I checked out was the Sleep Crown, developed by yoga teacher Julie Westervelt after she saw how quickly her yoga students relaxed and fell asleep after eliminating light and noise, and adding light pressure to their eyes during shavasana. 

The Sleep Crown is a weighted, specially shaped pillow designed to apply gentle pressure to the head. Weighted sleep therapy has been shown to promote sleep-inducing and central-nervous-system-calming hormones and neurotransmitters. The Crown also blocks out ambient light, since light hitting the skin anywhere on the body can disrupt our deep sleep, and reduces atmospheric noise. (Give it at try yourself with 10% off using code HANWAY10 at checkout.)

The second sleep product I loved was Yoga Wake Upan app that wakes you up gently and provides slow audio yoga sequences that you can do from the warmth and comfort of your own bed. How you wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day, and waking up with a beeping, stress-inducing alarm spikes your cortisol levels for the rest of the day. Instead, try this alternative, gentler way of waking up. Pair it with a daylight alarm clock for the perfect rising routine. 

IV infusions

Second in number to CBD products was IV infusions. IV infusions of various cocktails of vitamins and minerals have been on the edge of the wellness scene for many years, but 2018 is bringing them into the mainstream. I promote the benefits of IV infusions and recommend them to a number of my clients, because IV infusions bypass the digestive system and get absorbed straight into the bloodstream. They bypass the GI system, which makes them beneficial for those with impaired gut health and malabsorption issues. 

Whilst they can be used for general health and wellbeing, they’re also advertised to increase energy, improve the immune system and as a quick fix for jet lag and hangovers. I think they should be performed under medical supervision with an experienced practitioner, rather than as part of a conference or event, but the benefits are worth seeking. Look for these to be popping up with medical practitioners everywhere.

Clean Sexual and Cycle Self Care  

It was so refreshing to see women’s sexual pleasure represented at a mainstream event. Thanks to the work of companies such as Thinx and Sustain, how women look at their feminine care and sexual pleasure products has changed rapidly in the last few years. Most of us now are aware of the importance of clean food and clean beauty products, and now we’re starting to focus on how using clean sexual and cycle care products is a part of reducing toxic exposure. The vagina has an incredibly absorbent mucus membrane, so it really matters what we use, including sanitary products, sex toys and sex aids. 

At the Expo, I was immediately drawn to the wild+vibrant stand after seeing its vast display of crystals, herbs, flowers and beautifully packaged sexual self-care products. Founder Lydia Rose started the company after suffering from vaginal numbness, trauma and infertility. I’m all about integrity in the wellness business, and Lydia Rose is the epitome of this—when I met her, she was gorgeously pregnant! 

wild+vibrant creates biodynamically crafted sexual self-care products from wild herbs, plants and crystals for both males and females. Her bestselling product is The Cosmic Egg, an organic, olive-oil-based massage and lube product available in four different blends, depending on your moods and needs. (Try it yourself with 15% off using code SXSW at checkout.)

Looking for other wellness trends? Follow along with our wellness news, and check out why minimalism can help your mental health.

About The Author


Jennifer Hanway

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Level 2 BioSignature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer. Born in the UK she now lives in Boston and works with clients throughout the East Coast and London. With a celebrity client base that includes the British Royal Family and Hollywood actors, she is passionate about empowering others through holistic nutrition, fitness and wellbeing.



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